Jeff Gibbs is a 29 year old 188cm forward/center from Columbus, Ohio. He played at Otterbein(NCAA3) from 1998 to 2002. He was NCAA3 champion and Final Four MVP in 2002. He holds the record for rebounds in a game (25) at NCAA3 Final Four, record for rebounds (40) in a NCAA3 Final Four and holds Otterbein’s record for career rebounds. He went to Germany in 2003 to start his professional basketball career to play for TSG Ehingen. In 2004-2005, he tore up the second bundesliga playing 22 games and averaging 21.5ppg, Reb-1(12.8rpg), 1.8apg, 2.3spg, 1.2bpg, 2FGP: 62.6%, 3FGP: 31.6%, FT: 70.7%. In 2005, he went to Ratiopharm Ulm where he would play for until 2009. In 2005-2006, the team won the second BUndesliga south and came to the BBL. He was the BBL top rebounder for three straight years (2007,2008,2009). This season, he is playing his first season for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven and spoke to German Hoops.
This is your first season in Bremerhaven. How do you like it and what are the biggest differences to Ulm?
I really like it. Bremerhaven is a lot bigger than Ulm. My kids like it here being by the water going to the zoo and seeing the polar bears.
Ulm wanted to keep you, but you wanted to play for a top European team, but didnt find one. How disappointed were you that you couldnt land outside Germany?
I had other options to play in Europe, but the most important thing for me was having the right situation and living in the right city. I wanted my son to go to an international school. I am a family guy and always put my family first. In the end, we were more comfortable staying in Germany.
Bremerhaven started slowly into the season losing the first two games, but rebounded on the weekend winning in Paderborn and winning at home against TBB Trier.
I think that we played ok, but Ludwigsburg were all excited about the new arena and just shot the lights out. We didnt have enough intensity against Ludwigsburg. Against Braunschweig, we had intensity, but not as high as it should have been. We had a good intensity in pre season and are on the way to finding it again with the win against TBB Trier.
You started very strong into the season averaging 32 minutes 14,0ppg, 8rpg, 2,5apg. What exactly is your role in Bremerhaven? I can imagine that you dont have so much pressure to perform every night because of the deep roster.
I spoke with Doug Spradley before coming and he said that I would have the same type of role as in Ulm. We have so many scorers that can score on any given night like Rodney Buford, Kevin Lyde or Lou Campbell. We dont have one go to guy, but each guy knows each role. I am also happy to have a big body like Kevin Lyde underneath and Bryan Lucas stretching out the defense.
The Bremerhaven roster is very deep. How strong is the chemistry and how does each guy stay happy on the court?
There are no issues really. Everybody is happy and we feel good together. We joke around a lot and there is no individual that has to score. We as a team are very unselfish and that is what I like most about the team.
Do you miss the Kuhberg Halle a lot? The Bremerhaven Halle is not as loud.
Bremerhaven is loud and we have great fans, but I will never forget the Kuhberg Halle. I miss the Ulm fans. The biggest difference is the atmosphere in the arenas.
Louis Campbell seems to be one of the big pick ups for Bremerhaven. He played three years in Japan and he didnt get any worse playing in a lesser league, but may of goten beter. He has strong stats with 13,5ppg, 7,5apg and 4,8rpg that read like NBA stats, What do you like most his play?
He is an all around good guard. He does all the little things. He is a floor general that knows when to slow down the offense when it is getting out of control. He can dish out the ball, rebound well. He keeps telling me that he will start posting up soon. He is a great player and I am happy that I can play with him.
You are with 188cm the smallest forward/center in the world. What are the funniest things that you have heard concerning your size and height?
There are so many funny things that I have heard. Rodney Buford always calls me little big guy and I also have been called man child, small little thing. People always think that I am a guard, but then when they see my game understand that I work best in the post. People will say that I play like Charles Barkley and then I answer by saying that is why I wear #34.
How would you play against Sofoklis Schortsanitis (208cm, 142kilo) of Olympiakos Pirus in a one on one game?
Me hands down. Lol I dont know who would win. We both have our tricks that we would use. I would just try to use my quickness, but he is a big guy.
How does a free day look like for Jeff Gibbs in Bremerhaven?
My son has no school this week due to school vacation. I like to hang around the house with my family. If the weather is nice then we go to the park or zoo. I like watching tv or taking the kids to the home of Bryan Lucas. Our kids get along great.
Has your son Trey found a love for Basketball?
He loves to play basketball. I set up a basket in the house on the door. He likes to dunk, but I tell him to slow down, otherwise he will break it the basket down. The other day in warm ups, he saw a teammate throw a ball of the backboard and dunk it. Trey tried that at home right away.
I hope that he gets a better jump shot than I have and that he gets taller than I am.
Do you think that your ex colleague Romeo Travis could be a good actor?
I think Romeo could play in a comedy. You have to know him to understand his humour.
What was the last DVD that you saw?
Cartons are on all day long in our house. We watched Up with the kids and I saw Transformer 2 with my wife.
Thanks Jeff for the chat. Good luck this season.